Sapphire Edge VS8 Mini PC Review

Review Score:
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For the review today we are testing the Sapphire Edge VS8 Mini PC with a variety of synthetic, real world applications and modern games.

For comparison purposes we will test against a wide range of desktop and mobile systems.

It is worth pointing out that the Sapphire Edge VS8 does NOT ship with any operating system installed. You need to budget in the cost of an operating system and a USB drive with Windows installer prepared, or an external USB powered DVD/BluRay drive to install from the DVD disc.

drivers 300x135 Sapphire Edge VS8 Mini PC Review

Is this an ideal situation for an inexperienced user? Sadly not.

Ideally Sapphire should ship a more expensive version of this machine with a Windows Operating System and all drivers already installed.

software1 300x201 Sapphire Edge VS8 Mini PC Review

All the software on the optical drive is available to download from the Sapphire website. Drivers are available for 32 bit and 64 bit Windows 98, ME, XP, Vista, 7 and 8. We are using Windows 7 64 bit for our review today.

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Above, an overview of the hardware as shown in CPUz and GPUz. At the heart of the Edge VS8 is the AMD A8 4555M APU which runs at 1.6ghz with a turbo boost up to 2.4ghz. It is a quad core Piledriver Trinity chip built on the 32nm process. There is no level 3 cache. The TDP is rated at 18W.

The 4GB of Transcend dual channel DDR3 memory is clocked at 1333mhz @ 9-9-10-24 timings. A full list of HD7660G specifications are listed here.

Comparison processors:
AMD A8 3870K
AMD A8 3850
AMD Zacate E-350
Atom D525 @ 1.8ghz
Turion X64 X2 L510 @ 1.6ghz
Core i7 3610QM
Core i7 2960XM Extreme Edition (Mobile)
Core i7 2630QM
Core i7 2640M processor
Core i7 2360QM
Core i7 2600K
Core i5 2500K
Core i5 2410M
Core i3 2105 desktop processor.

Software:
3DMark Vantage
3DMark 11
PCMark 7
Cinebench 11.5 64 bit
FRAPS Professional
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark
Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra 11
Cyberlink MediaEspresso
HQV Benchmark 2.0
Left4Dead2
F1 2012
Total War: Shogun 2
Sleeping Dogs
Hitman Absolution

Technical Monitoring and Test Equipment:
Asus BluRay Drive
Lacie 730 Monitor (Image Quality testing)
Thermal Diodes
Raytek Laser Temp Gun 3i LSRC/MT4 Mini Temp
Extech digital sound level meter & SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter
Calibrated Power Meter
Nikon D3X with R1C1 Kit (4 flashes), Nikon 24-70MM lens.

All the latest BIOS updates and drivers are used during testing. We perform generally under real world conditions, meaning KitGuru tests games across five closely matched runs and then average out the results to get an accurate median figure. If we use scripted benchmarks, they are mentioned on the relevant page.

Some game descriptions are edited from Wikipedia.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Sapphire Edge VS8 Mini PC Review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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  • Leo

    fantastic read Zardon, I like this unit, very impressed with the size.

    I agree though, 60GB SSD is about same price now as 500GB Mechancial. why not offer one at least?

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  • Xtreme

    bare bones for me . ill be ordering this as I want to fit one behind my tv downstairs, but 120gb SSD I think for my unit.

    any pricing information on bare bones yet?

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  • Andrew

    This could be a nice device but for a few problems.

    1.) I doesn’t look that nice and even though you might be hiding it behind a TV it still should look nicer in case we do want to show it off because of it’s size

    2.) Give us the option of a 7200RPM mechanical drive with a small price difference or or pay a bit more and get an SSD even something like a 60GB would be better than the HDD in there at the moment

    3.) The option for a windows OS if required so basic users can have it running as soon as they get it open plus us enthusiast’s/Experienced people would get the option without OS so we could put whatever OS we want on it

    4.)Have a bundle with external dvd drive again for basic users.

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  • http://www.kitguru.net Zardon

    Hi Andrew, thanks for your views. That’s pretty much what we think too.

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  • Mannucuna

    Its a nice idea, but its a half assed approach from Sapphire.

    The version you reviewed would be ideal for joe bloggs, but there is no OS and no means to get it installed without buying an external drive. This is just not something a user going into PC world will ever be able to handle. They want to take it home, hit the power button and bam, all sorted.

    Enthusiast users won’t want a system with a 5,400 rpm 2.5 inch drive, thats 2008 technology and was poor even then.

    Barebones is the only way forward, but having to get memory, SSD and an OS is expensive.

    They should have been more honest in the marketing and released it at 450-500 with everything ready and installed (good quality SSD and 8GB of DDR3 memory – come on its £30 online now!).

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  • Warren

    Its a good review and honest in the conclusion, although the score is too high. I like the system, but id have scored this a point lower.

    5,400 rpm hard drive? The lack of OS and optical drive means this is firmly positioned at the enthusiast audience, NOT mainstream. Why insult us with a 5,400 rpm drive – every enthusiast reading this will be horrified? I wouldn’t even use that for backing up files now.

    its very poorly configured.

    Although I like the small unit, id be interested in barebones, depending on the price.

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  • Ian

    Any idea on barebones price? id like this as a home server system, but im not paying for a 5,400rpm drive.

    They dont need to charge more for SSD, a 60GB SSD is the same price as that 500GB slow ass unit they installed.

    I would have expected more from Sapphire, its a poor decision. I didnt even accept a 5,400 rpm drive in my old laptop, it grinds the whole system to a halt.

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  • signorRossi

    I couldn’t restrain myself ang ordered one in this configuration yesterday morning since it was readily available here in Italy (tracking even says it should be delivered today!), even though I also had reservations about the hard drive, which were founded it seems. ;) But it also seems that otherwise the box should suit my needs very well, as it draws little power and should be very silent during general usage(i don’t game btw). I will install Arch Linux on it, which should boot relatively fast compared to Win7 even on this slow hard drive (I don’t expect to boot it more than once a day anyway) and replace the HDD sooner or later with an SSD anyway. I wonder how much the barebone version will cost, though, and how much more I will have paid for in the end for being unable to wait a little longer. I paid 350€ delivered for this version, btw.

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  • Frank

    Sorry, for a test you have to look at points that are not specified. So is it HDMI 1.4(a) or the old 1.3 not capable of 3D. Is it 7.1 Sound or just 6. is it possible to change the drive or is it soldered…

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  • Frank

    @signorRossi. Can you look at your device for my asked points above please?

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